This award is given to a person who has made significant contributions to the scientific study of psychopathy over the course of his or her lifetime.
Inaugural Recipient, Dr. Robert Hare
Dr. Robert Hare, one of the world's leading authorities on psychopathy, is a professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia and honorary professor of psychology at Cardiff University in Wales. Dr. Hare has a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Alberta and a Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario.
Dr. Hare's more-than 40-year career studying psychopathy began when he encountered a manipulative inmate while working as a prison psychologist between his M.A. and Ph.D. studies. A book by Hervey Cleckley called The Mask of Sanity played a pivotal role in his thinking about the clinical nature of psychopathy. Dr. Hare's early research focused on the use of theories, concepts, and procedures from learning, motivation, and psychophysiology in the laboratory study of psychopathy, with emphasis on information-processing and emotional correlates. However, a recurrent issue was the lack of a reliable, valid, and generally acceptable method for assessing the disorder. In the late 1970s, he and his students and colleagues began development of what was to become the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). The PCL-R is recognized worldwide as the leading instrument for the assessment of the disorder, both for scientific research and for practical applications in mental health and criminal justice.
Dr. Hare consistently acknowledges and praises the important contributions of his students to the theory and research on psychopathy, and he is pleased that many of his students have established themselves as major figures in the field. He describes the collaborative efforts with his former students as invigorating and fruitful. Currently, he is involved in a number of international research projects on assessment and treatment issues, risk for recidivism and violence, and functional neuroimaging. Although Dr. Hare has most often studied psychopaths in prison, he has recently begun to study them in other contexts, including community in general and the corporate world in particular.
He lectures widely about psychopathy, and consults with law enforcement, including the FBI, the RCMP, and Her Majesty's Prison Service. He has been recognized worldwide for his research on psychopathy, receiving the Silver Medal of the Queen Sophia Center in Spain, the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Applications to the field of Psychology, the Isaac Ray Award from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law for Outstanding Contributions to Forensic Psychiatry and Psychiatric Jurisprudence, and the B. Jaye Anno Award for Excellence in Communication from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.
In recognition of the enormous impact that his work on psychopathy has had worldwide, the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy named their lifetime achievement award after him. In 2005, he was the first recipient of the R.D. Hare Lifetime Achievement Award.
2007 Recipient, Dr. David Lykken (1928-2006)
David Lykken completed his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Minnesota in 1955. A paper based on his dissertation study, entitled "A study of anxiety in the sociopathic personality," was published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology in 1957. This classic study, which relied on Cleckley's criteria for psychopathy and employed multiple measures of anxiety (self-report, behavioral, and physiological), has served as a continuing source of inspiration to psychopathy researchers up to the present day. Lykken followed this work with various studies investigating processes relevant to psychopathy, including experiments exploring basic mechanisms by which individuals attenuate the impact of upcoming noxious events. Through his basic experimental research over the years, Lykken refined his influential "low fear" model of psychopathy. This theoretic model, together with numerous other key ideas including Lykken's conceptual taxonomy of antisocial subgroups, was featured in his 1995 book The antisocial personalities.
In addition to his seminal work in the psychopathy area, Lykken made important and lasting contributions in a number of other areas including: psychophysiology; behavior genetics; statistical methodology; and lie detection. In recognition of the enormous impact of his work challenging the scientific basis of polygraphic lie detection, Lykken was named recipient of APA's Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest (1991) and Distinguished Scientific Contribution to Applications of Psychology (2001) awards. Lykken was a Fellow of the American Psychological Society (APS), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He served as President of the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR) from 1980-81, and he was honored with SPR's Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 1998.
2009 Recipient, Dr. Joseph Newman
2011 Recipient, Dr. Hervey Milton Cleckley (1903-1984)